by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 17, 2009)
Believe it or not, your dog can gain weight and it can be noticeable. I once knew a dog that ate quite a bit and grew to be quite beefy. It was kind of ridiculous actually. If your dog is having a harder and harder time fitting through his doggie door, maybe it's time to do something. You can put your dog on a diet without him even realizing it.
One of the key concepts is portion control. Many dogs will eat as much as is put before them and so you need to control how much you give your dog to eat. Don't let your dog snack too much during the day and try to monitor what other people give it.
Another crucial thing to keep in mind is that your dog will inevitably gain weight if all he or she eats is food from the table. Dogs should eat primarily dog food and if that guideline isn't really a guideline with your dog, it's time to make it so. Human food isn't the best for dogs and doesn't contain some of the necessary vitamins and minerals found in dog food. Also, human food has more fats and sugars that dogs don't need, resulting in a fat dog.
Exercise is also a good way to help your dog lose weight, and it can be good for you too. If you just take your dog out for a jog a few times a week, you'll greatly be enhancing those weight-loss methods, and you'll be feeling pretty good yourself! Don't push your dog too hard—just like with humans, you need to work your way up to intense workouts.
Losing weight for dogs utilizes many of the same principles used in losing weight for humans. Make sure your dog eats appropriate portions, eats the right kind of food, and exercises, and your dog will shed those extra pounds and be good to go!
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